Badger Hole Ranch: Blog en-us (c) Ruth Wiechmann (Badger Hole Ranch) Sun, 26 Feb 2017 23:30:00 GMT Sun, 26 Feb 2017 23:30:00 GMT Badger Hole Ranch: Blog 120 80 Rest In Jesus As the Preacher in Ecclesiastes noted, "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."  (Ec. 3:1) Lately in our small community it has seemed that the 'time to die' has come to many dear neighbors and friends. We've had a lot of funerals lately. Just last week we got the news that two dear ladies had gone to meet their Savior.  While it is certainly our joy that they are free from their sickness and pain and suffering, we also grieve with their family members.  May the God of all comfort strengthen your hearts.


Rest In Jesus, as a child would,

Safely in his father's arms,

He will hold you, He will keep you

In His mercy, safe from harm.

Rest in Jesus, soul be patient,

Wait on Him, be still, tired heart:

His grace for you is sufficient,

He'll empower your weakest part.

Rest in Jesus, oh the joy here!

He works what you cannot see;

Confident, then trust His promise:

"Where I am, there you shall be."

Rest in Jesus 'mid the struggle

Just to draw another breath:

As H raised up Jesus, surely

He will give you life through death.

Rest in Jesus, His the battle,

His the victory o'er the grave:

Death no more has power to harm you;

Jesus keeps you: Jesus saves.

Rest in Jesus, as a child would,

Safely in His father's arms;

He will hold you, He will keep you

In His mercy, safe from harm.

Copyright 2015 Ruth Wiechmann


]]> (Badger Hole Ranch) God's Will faith hymns hymnwriters inspiration seeing beyond song for all seasons trust Mon, 27 Feb 2017 00:27:55 GMT
Jesus, Lover of my Soul Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to thy bosom fly
While the nearer waters roll,
While the tempest still is high.
Hide me, O my Savior, hide
Till the storm of life is past;
Safe into the haven guide.
Oh, receive my soul at last!

Other refuge have I none;
Hangs my helpless soul on thee.
Leave, ah, leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me!
All my trust on thee is stayed,
All my help from thee I bring;
Cover my defenseless head
With the shadow of thy wing.

Wilt thou not regard my call,
Wilt thou not accept my prayer?
Lo, I sink, I faint, I fall;
Lo, on thee I cast my care;
Reach me out thy gracious hand!
While I of thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,
Dying, and behold, I live!

Thou, O Christ, art all I want;
More than all in thee I find.
Raise the fallen, cheer the faint,
Heal the sick, and lead the blind.
Just and holy is thy name;
I am all unrighteousness,
False and full of sin I am;
Thou art full of truth and grace.

Plenteous grace with thee is found,
Grace to cover all my sin.
Let the healing streams abound;
Make and keep me pure within.
Thou of life the fountain art,
Freely let me take of thee;
Spring thou up within my heart,
Rise to all eternity.

---Charles Wesley

]]> (Badger Hole Ranch) Charles Wesley faith hymns hymnwriters inspiration song for all seasons Sun, 29 Jan 2017 20:20:50 GMT
A New Year Dawns New Year's Day 2017Happy New Year, Folks!

]]> (Badger Hole Ranch) Sun, 29 Jan 2017 20:14:07 GMT
Legacy of a Lifetime Legacy of a Lifetime

by Ruth Wiechmann

Originally Published in the Horse Edition of the Tri State Livestock News, 2013

1958. The American Quarter Horse Association was a fledgling organization, not yet in its twentieth year. Horses that today we consider legends in the breed were household names: Three Bars, Leo, King, Wimpy, Buck Hancock; their get and grandget were racing, cutting, ranching, setting records, and forming the foundation of the breed as we know it today.

In 1958, one of those legendary sires died. That horse was the great King P-234. Considered by many the archetypical quarter horse, King had and still has more influence on the quarter horse breed than most of his contemporaries. Owned for most of his life by Jess Hankins, King made a name for Hankins and his brothers by the colts he produced. King’s colts were stamped with his mark: with few exceptions they had type, conformation, athletic ability, cow sense, and golden dispositions. King P-234’s last colt crop was born in 1958.


Bernie Janssen grew up in Minnesota during the same years that King’s colts were making such a profound impression on the horsemen in the fledgling American Quarter Horse Association.

“I was always the ‘little guy,’” he said.

Sometimes being a smaller kid had its perks! When Bernie was in his teens, neighbor Kenneth Uden put him on a mare that he hauled around the area to match races. Shady Lady was black, and she was fast. Bernie loved it. Ken Uden introduced Bernie to registered Quarter Horses, and to King P-234 bred quarter horses, and it was love that would last for a lifetime. It was also love for a lifetime that blossomed between Bernie and Ken Uden’s niece Sherry. Bernie and Sherry married in 1959, shortly before Bernie left to serve in the U.S. Military.

In 1958, the young Minnesotan decided to start raising horses. He had spent two years in college, intending to become a Lutheran pastor, but after two years of studying, his love for horses won out. Bernie had never owned a registered Quarter Horse before, but from his experience growing up with Ken Uden’s horses, he knew what he wanted.

Bernie purchased his first two registered mares at R. L. Underwood’s dispersal sale in 1958. Underwood, president of the AQHA from 1944-46, was well known by the breeders of his day to have one of, if not the best bands of quarter horse mares in the early days of the registry. While other breeders raised horses to supply their ranch remudas, Underwood bred horses because they were his passion. His mares were considered to be the most uniform herd of mares in his day. It was from this herd that Bernie chose his first two mares. Little Chick and Calf Roper were both daughters of Underwood’s famed Golden Chief, and Bernie brought them home to Minnesota.


Bernie bred these first two mares to a King P-234 grandson, King Jacket. Owned at the time by Dr. Steinhauser, and standing in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, the palomino horse sired by L H Chock was also a grandson of Blackburn on his dam’s side. He had been shown in AQHA halter and performance classes, and won some money in NCHA competition. He also won the Grand Champion title cutting at the Minnesota State Fair under Steinhauser. Those first breedings to King Jacket both resulted in fillies. Bernie sold one, and kept the other; a cute palomino out of Calf Roper that he named Ropette. When Ropette came of age, Bernie bred her to a son of King named Dooley Slo Poke. She foaled a filly in 1962 while Bernie was stationed in France in the army, a filly named Kings Slo Jewel that Bernie trained to cut on the neighbor’s herd of cows as well as his own holsteins.

Bernie first showed her at a cutting in Walnut Grove, Minnesota in 1965. Together they took second place. Later he showed her at a cutting in Harlan IA, and the duo beat War Bond Leo, owned and ridden by Dave Martin. At the time, War Bond Leo was ranked the number one cutting horse in the nation! Martin was so impressed that he offered Bernie a breeding to War Bond Leo for the catty mare.

The years went by. Bernie added to his herd. He bred Leo horses, as well as the King line, but the King horses were always his favorites. When the Hankins brothers had their dispersal sale, Bernie hooked up a two horse trailer and drove to San Antonio, Texas.

He also added to his herd from the program of Keith Overstreet, a man from Leon, Iowa, who concentrated the blood of King P-234 son Easter King in his herd.

Some of the very best King mares Bernie ever bought came from the Creek Plantation in Georgia, owned by W. S. Morris, III. Claudia Miss and Top Joker Miss produced some of Bernie’s best, including Kings Black Widow, the mare that Bernie considers the best horse he has owned in his lifetime.

Bernie’s friend Dave Bishop, who lived near Rochester, owned a pretty black mare named Miss Poco Marybee that he hauled to Georgia, along with another mare, to breed to Continental King. Bernie happened to see Dave at a cutting. Dave mentioned that he had two stud colts in pasture sired by Continental King.

“What are you going to do with em’?” Bernie asked him.

“Well, I’m going to sell them,” was Dave’s reply. Bernie wanted to go take a look, but Dave was going to be out of town for a while.

Bernie laughed, remembering…

“I about went cuckoo, having to wait two weeks to go look at them!”

When things finally worked out, Bernie went over to take his pick. Both had so much potential! What would have been had he picked the other colt? He couldn’t afford to buy them both. After agonizing over the decision, he picked the colt he named Kings Poco Discount. The little fellow was a son of Continental King, out of a daughter of Poco Discount.

Kings Poco Discount, trained and shown by Bernie Janssen, won the reining at the Utah State Fair, and went on to sire two Upper Midwest Cutting Futurity winners.

Now Bernie needed some new blood to cross on his Kings Poco Discount daughters. Through the influence of Al Buchli, whom he’d met at the Hankins brothers’ sale, he decided to breed to a stallion in Canada, a double bred King P-234 stud named March King Breeze. He hauled two mares to Canada, and after some considerable hassle making trips back and foth across the Canadian border, ended up with two fillies. He was pleased with both, but he still didn’t have his stud prospect.

Hauling the mares up and back and dealing with crossing the border had been so inconvenient that Bernie asked March King Breeze’s owner to ship him some semen. This was in the early days of AI breeding, and the technique was not perfected as it is today. But it was worth a try. Bernie had his vet synchronize his mare, Kings Miss Purity. She cycled, the semen arrived, and it was no good. There was not much of a chance of getting the mare bred with it, but the vet said, “Well, so long as we have it, and the mare is ready, we may as well put it in her.” Somehow she conceived, and King Brown Legacy was born. Bernie had the perfect outcross for his Kings Poco Discount mares.

After Bernie rode Kings Black Widow to win the Upper Midwest Cutting Futurity in 1993, he had high hopes for other horses to show, but sometimes, as with all mice and men, the best laid plans fall apart.

A young daughter of Kings Poco Discount and Town Joker Miss he was preparing to show died suddenly, and for no apparent reason.

Then Kings Poco Discount died prematurely. Bernie had intended to show Kings Poco Discount’s fancy grullo son, Kings Poco Breeze, but when his sire died, he was turned out with mares instead of hauled to shows.

A few years later, Bernie was devastated again, when the handsome grullo horse somehow broke a leg and had to be put down.

By then, Bernie was starting to feel his age.

“We all get old,” he said.

2006 hit, the horse market crashed, the economy headed south, and Bernie’s mares stood in the pasture and did not get bred for three years. Things looked bleak.

In 2009, Bernie split the mares up, and turned two studs out: King Brown Legacy, and his young grullo maternal brother, Kings Pure Breeze. There would be another crop of King colts, but Bernie was looking for someone else to carry on the program. Several people expressed an interest, but each, for one reason or another, failed to make a deal.

The one bright spot on the horizon was Kings Breeze, a 2004 bay colt by King Brown Legacy and out of Bernie’s cutting mare, Kings Black Widow. Bernie had had James Pease, a young man from the neighboring town, start some horses for him over the years, and Bernie gave Breeze to James to start riding. James and Breeze hit it off.

“I don’t know if the man made the horse, or if the horse made the man,” Bernie says proudly. “It’s probably some of both.”

James started showing Kings Breeze in AQHA reining classes in 2009, and the bay colt was stellar. He didn’t always win, but he always did well. By the end of the year, he had earned his AQHA Performance Register of Merit, and he finished the year as the AQHA Region 2 Junior Reining Champion. 2011 again saw James and Breeze take top honors in the AQHA Region Two/SDQHA show when Kings Breeze won the Senior Reining Championship title.

Something still needed to be done with the mares at home in Minnesota. Over the years Bernie had gotten many lucrative offers from people wanting to buy his horses that he turned down. He could have sold them now. But when the time came for someone else to carry on the breeding program, money wasn’t the issue. The horses were the priority.

There are lots of other horses in the world, and even other King horses in the world, but in Bernie’s experience there were none that compared to this group of horses. Over the years Bernie had owned and ridden many horses, other King P-234 bred horses, and other horses of the popular AQHA bloodlines of the day. Most were good, some were better, but none could quite compare with the King lines he had used in the nucleus of his program. He used other horses in his program over the years, but they just weren’t quite as good as what he already had. Over time he had weeded the others all out. There was just something special about this little group of King mares. He wanted them to stay together.

So it came to be that the King mares came to South Dakota. In January of 2010, Bernie got a phone call from a lady looking for a King bred filly to start riding.

“You wouldn’t happen to want some broodmares, would you?” he asked.

After a few phone conversations, Bernie was convinced that this was the right place for the horses. In April, when the snow finally subsided enough to get trailers into the place, the King mares were hauled to Perkins County, South Dakota, and turned out in the pasture to foal.   Since 2010, Ben & Ruth Wiechmann have managed Bernie’s breeding program on their ranch, where they also raise commercial Angus and baldie cattle with the help of their five children.

Today Bernie’s legacy is carried on at Badger Hole Ranch. Mares and stallions that still have King P-234 on their papers graze on the prairie, and another batch of athletic, good minded, King bred colts is growing up.

“The Good Lord knew what He was doing,” Bernie told Sherry.

]]> (Badger Hole Ranch) Sun, 29 Jan 2017 20:11:46 GMT
Learning to Sing

"There are songs which can only be learned in the valley.  No art can teach them; no rules of voice can make them perfectly sung.  Their music is in the heart.  They are songs of memory, of personal experience.  They bring out their burden from the shadows of the past; they mount on the wings of yesterday.

St. John says that even in Heaven there will be a song that can only be fully sung by the sons of the earth---the strain of redemption.  Doubtless it is a song of triumph, a hymn of victory to the Christ who made us free.   But the sense of triumph must come from the memory of the chain. 

No angel, no archangel can sing it so sweetly as I can.  To sing it as I sing it, they must pass through my exile, and this they cannot do.  None can learn it but the children of the Cross.

And so, my soul, thou art receiving a music lesson from thy Father.  Thou art being educated for the choir invisible.  There are parts of the symphony that none can take but thee. 

There are chords too minor for the angels.  There may be heights in the symphony which are beyond the scale---heights which angels alone can reach; but there are depths which belong to thee, and can only be touched by thee. 

Thy Father is training thee for the part the angels cannot sing; and the school is sorrow.  I have heard many say that He sends sorrow to prove thee; nay, He sends sorrow to educate thee, to train thee for the choir invisible.

In the night He is preparing thy song.  In the valley He is tuning thy voice.  In the cloud He is deepening thy chords.  In the rain He is sweetening thy melody.  In the cold He is moulding thy expression.  In the transition from hope to fear He is perfecting thy lights.

Despise not thy school of sorrow, O my soul; it will give thee a unique part in the universal song."

Written by George Matheson, (1842-1906), the "Blind Preacher" of Scotland, author of "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go."


O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.


O Light that followest all my way,
I yield my flickering torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in Thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.

O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.


]]> (Badger Hole Ranch) God's Will faith hymns hymnwriters inspiration seeing beyond song for all seasons trust Wed, 01 Jun 2016 15:46:33 GMT
Spring has Sprung The grass is 'riz.  The tulips are poking up in my flower garden and I think we can plant potatoes this week if we can fire up the tiller.  The meadowlarks and robins are back, bringing their songs, and bringing the tantalizing challenge of getting close enough to take a photo of one singing his heart out on top of a fencepost without scaring him off! 

Happy Spring, folks!


]]> (Badger Hole Ranch) Mon, 21 Mar 2016 22:18:31 GMT
Beginnings Welcome to Unbridled Light!  I love to use my camera to capture the beauty of everyday, ordinary life on the ranch, and I am excited about the opportunity to share little bits of that beauty with the rest of the world. 

Check out my photos, and please give feedback on how the site works as well as the content. 

Again, welcome to Unbridled Light.

Thanks for visiting!

]]> (Badger Hole Ranch) Working ranch images horses wildflowers Wed, 17 Feb 2016 16:42:27 GMT